Posts Tagged “New Jersey”

NJ Blueberry Loadings Start, Veggies Coming Soon

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IMG_7021While the folks in New Jersey who are paid to promote Jersey agriculture, they are touting great crops of peaches, blueberries and vegetables this year.  However, excessive rains the first half of June may have an impact on shipments.  Just keep an eye on what you are loading in case quality has been adversely affected. 

Full crops of peaches and  blueberries are being forecast for this season.  Blueberry loadings are just now starting in the southern part of New Jersey, while peach shipments should get underway in mid July and continue into mid August.

The asparagus harvest is underway and other vegetables are expected to follow soon.

New Jersey ranks second nationally in blueberry shipments.

However, most agricultural products are in the greenhouse and nursery products sector. Roses, chrysanthemums, geraniums, lilies, orchids and poinsettias are all grown for the urban markets. Nursery products include grass sod and ornamental shrubs (arborvitae, holly, juniper).

Concerning produce, New Jersey ships significant amounts of of asparagus, bell peppers, eggplant, endive, lettuce and spinach.

Cabbages, snap peas and corn are also raised.  Additionally, the state has  apples, peaches and strawberries, although the later is mainly involvedwith pick your own operations.

Two of the biggest markets for Jesery produce are New York City and Philadelphia, although shipments do occur in many other eastern markets.




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Hunts Point: World’s Largest Food Distribution Center

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* Located on 113 acres in the South Bronx .  Hunts Point is owned by New York City.

* Four primary rows with each being one-third of a mile long.

* 1 million square feet of interior space.

* Opened in 1967.

*Has operated as a co-op for about 20 years.

*Has elected board of directors representing about 50 produce companies on the market.

*Hunts Point employees over 3,500 workers.

*Hunts Point serves about 23 million people, mostly in the Northeast with produce from across the nation and from around the world .

*Hunts Point is the largest food distribution center in the world and also includes the Fulton Fish Market.  Revenues exceed $2 billion a year.

*Negotiations between the market and NYC over the past 10 years to build a new facility have failed.  Produce wholesalers cite needs for more and better cold storage.  Rebuilding, renovation, and moving the market to New Jesery are often topics of discussion.

*Unloading delays are commong at Hunts Point in part due to lack of cold storage. Refrigerated trailers are often used as storage facilities.  Truckers receive no detention for delayed unloading.

 *Hunts Point receives $172.5 million in cash and tax breaks from New York City.

*Hunts Point leaders are in a “fight” with the NYC’s  Business Integrity Commission, an agency created to root out organized crime in the carting industry.  The commission has overstepped its authority and is interfering with business by setting operating hours and hitting delivery and storage trucks with parking tickets, produce house operators say.  They feel the commission has over stepped its authority and its mission should only deal with organized crime.



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Hunts Point Talks with NYC are Extended Through October

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The on-again, off-again exclusive lease negotiations between the city and the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market have been extended for the third time, this time through October 31st, according to a recent article on Crain’s New York

Hunts Point is the world’s largest wholesale terminal market.  Located in New York City’s, South Bronx, it is a cooperative with 115 merchants.   Thousands of refrigerated big rigs deliver loads of fresh fruits and vegetables to the market each week from across the USA, as well as from Canada and Mexico.

The extended negotiations are between the Economic Develpment Corp. and the Hunts Point co-op.  Hunts Point officials have been threatening to move the humongus facilty to New Jersey for years.

The incentive is a public hearing the merchants requested of city council members to discuss the city’s Business Integrity Commission, which has regulatory authority over the market. The hearing is set for Oct. 23.

Last  June the federal government offered $10 million to help modernize Hunts Point.   The market, which opened in 1967,  faces many challenges ane the one state-of-the-art terminal is now showing its age.

Buildings are  in need of renovation and a shortage of cold storage has many companies storing fresh produce in trailers parked in front and/or in back of their units.  Loading docks are not refrigerated.

There are complaints  trucker access into and out of the market is poor and that roads are in disrepair or just cannot handle the heavy traffic.

Everyone agrees on one thing: something has to be done. Numerous negotiations, talks, meetings, task forces and committees over the years failed to come to a solution.  Politics. governments and red tape all contributed to a slow moving process.

New Jersey has aggressively made  bids to move Hunts Point to the Garden State.  However, the Hunts Point co-op continues negotiating with New York City on rebuilding the facility at its current location.   In reality, most Hunts Point tenants prefer remain right where they are.

The current 10-year lease on the market expired in May 2011, and on June 19, 2012, the federal government offered $10 million to help modernize the large market, but first the market’s merchants and the city must agree to a new lease.

The merchants in reality have little use for New York City’s Business Integrity Commission stating the agency is assessing needless fees and penalties for various infractions, including parking violations within the market. The situation reached an impasse in late August when the merchants decided not to renew their exclusivity agreement to negotiate a new lease with the city, citing their differences with the commission as the reason.

But don’t hold your breath, it will probably be a cold day in hell before Hunts Point uproots to New Jersey, or anyplace else.

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Loads will be Available in New Jersey with Fall Produce

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Summertime loads for produce haulers in New Jersey growers are declining, but there are still a limited amount of peaches being shipped.  However, peach shipments will wrap up within days.  There’s also limited handling of basil and mint are also finishing and will be halted by frost that typically occurs in mid-October.

The fall season shipments for spinach, escarole/endive, lettuces, turnips, radishes, and white and sweet potatoes are just getting started.   There also are less amounts of vegetables ranging from cabbage to collards, kale, beets, Swiss chard, pickles, cucumbers, .radishes, butternut and acorn squash, and herbs such as parsley, dill, coriander, arugula and cilantro.

The top volume fresh-market vegetables in New Jersey are: tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, eggplant, escarole, snap beans and asparagus. The primary fresh-market fruits are strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and apples.  Jersey also is one of the top five states in producing cranberries for processing.

New Jersey also ships apples, but unlike the major Western apple shipping states, the Jersey fruit is shipped after harvest. without being stored time in controlled atmosphere conditions. New Jersey apple loadings began in late-August, with the Gala, MacIntosh, Jonathan and Courtland varieties, and are followed by Red Delicious, Empire, Jonagold and McCoun. Golden Delicious, Rome and Stayman Winesap start shipments in mid- to late September. Braeburn, Fuji and Granny Smith will start in early-October.


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Eastern Produce Loadings are Moving North

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Produce loadings have seasonally moved northward, some by as much as three weeks earlier than normal.

A case in point is New Jersey where southern area vegetables have been ahead of schedule for weeks.  Now it is peach loadings taking center stage.  Jersey peaches started the third week of June, but do not normally get underway until around July 10th.  The Garden State ranks fourth nationally in peach volume behind California, South Carolina and Georgia….New Jersey also is a leading shipper of blueberries, which are now moving in volume.

Watermelon loadings are available from the Charleston-Beaufort area of South Carolina…..North Carolina continues to ship sweet potatoes.

Florida has entered its deadest part of the year as far as produce is concerned, while the state of Georgia isn’t a whole lot better.  Weather problems really hurt Georgia vegetable, blueberry and watermelon shipments this year.  Vidalia onion volume has dwindled and the latter end of the Georgia peach shipping season is lighter than normal.

New Jersey blueberries – grossing about $2600 to Orlando.

North Carolina sweet potatoes – about $1750 to Philadelphia.



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Will Produce Rates Increase for Fourth of July?

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Normally we would see a bump in rates for hauling produce as the Fourth of July holiday approaches – when Independence Day falls on any day but Wednesday.   This is not to say there will not be a increase in produce rates, but some observers are saying it may not be as high, or may not even occur this year for the holiday.  Regardless, strong demand for refrigerated equipment will continue before and after the Fourth, and rates are expected to remain healthy in the coming weeks.

In Southeastern Arkansas, peak tomato shipments are continuing.  While it has been an excellent growing season, triple digit temperatures have moved in.  If the extreme heat continues the mid July conclusion to tomato shipments may happen even before that.

In Virginia, some are not aware the state ranks fourth nationally in tomato shipments, and 6th nationally in potato, apple and snap bean volume.

Moving to the Northwest, Washington state cherry shipments are in heavy volume.  Loadings should continue until September and the state is on a course for record shipments.

In California, rates have had only minor fluctuations since early June.  The Salinas Valley has lighter than usual volume with broccoli and cauliflower, plus lettuce shipments have been hampered as East Coast receivers took advantage of coastal shipping areas such as New Jersey, which started weeks earlier than normal.  This put Eastern lettuce shipments on a collision coarse with West Coast lettuce shipments.  Eastern receivers could save $7 to $8 per carton on lettuce, just on shipping costs, when they purchased eastern lettuce as opposed to that product from California.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8500 to New York City




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Eastern Produce Loads are Providing Mixed Bag

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Produce shipments on the East Coast are a mixed bag this year and some areas are shipping more normal volumes, with other areas doing less.

Shipments of New Jersey blueberries, along with vegetables continue to be loaded in normal volumes.  Jersey peach loadings are ramping up and should be in peak volume soon, continuing through July.

Further south in the Mid-Altantic area, sometimes referred to as the Eastern Shore, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia are shipping a variety of vegetables, with more coming into play as we enter July.   This area, however, has struggled over the years, as it tries to provide shipments during a gap between states to the south of it, and  New Jersey to the north, which in theory is supposed to begin shipments when Delaware, Maryland and Virgina are finishing.

However, it’s a gamble every year and if the southern states are late coming in, or Jersey is early, the the Mid-Atlantic states tend to face poor markets, and fewer loading opportunities for produce haulers.  As a result this area does not have as many shippers as it used to.

Meanwhile, there are fewer Georgia vegetables, Vidalia onions and peaches this year due to weather factors, although the vegetables were easily hit the hardest of the three.

Vidalia, Georgia onions – grossing about $3200 to New York City.

New Jersey blueberries – about $1800 to Boston.


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Shipments Ahead of the Fourth of July Holiday

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We are quickly approaching time for shipments of produce  for the Fourth of July holiday.  Since Independence Day falls on a Wednesday, a lot of consumers will only have that one day off work, although many do tie extra days off around the holiday.

But to help you try and plan your schedule so you can be home for the holiday, here’s a look at some shipping areas that will be pretty active a week or so before the Fourth, hopefully increasing your chances for faster loadings, transits and getting to your destination.

In the West, the Watsonville district will be the only California area shipping strawberries, but it good volume.  The nearby Salinas Valley should be rockin’ with plenty of vegetable loads.  The same goes for the San Joaquin Valley shipping stone fruit and vegetables.

In Washington, the eastern part of the state has moderate volume with blueberries, but better volume will be coming from Yakima and Wenatchee with late season apples from storage, as well as with cherries, with loadings at a peak.

At Nogales, watermelons from Mexico crossing the border have more than doubled over the past decade.  Yet, loading opportunities are being limited, depending upon with whom one talks, because of the escalating drug cartel violence south of the border.

In Michigan, decent blueberry shipments are expected for the Fourth of July, plus vegetable volume is increasing.

New Jersey blueberry shipments will be supplying most Eastern markets for Independence Day.  The state also is shipping vegetables.

In the Southeast, Georgia continues with Vidalia onions, Ft. Valley area peaches and vegetables from the central and southern part of the state.

Overall Florida produce shipments are down subtantailly by this time of the year, but Belle Glade is shipping a lot of sweet corn.


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New Jesery Shipments to Increase

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Produce shipments from New Jerseyhave been occuring in  limited volume since March, with items ranging from  lettuce, leafy greens, herbs,  flat parsely, cilantro, spinach, leeks and radishes.  As we enter the summer season volume will pick up significantly for other types of vegetables, especially  from the southern area of the state. 

Green beans are just starting.  Other vegetable loadings will get underway in June and July with bell peppers, cucumbers and squash.  Sweet corn loadings  kick in around the second week of July.  Cabbage shipments recently started.

The Garden state also is one of the larger shippers of peaches and blueberries.  Blueberries become available the first week of June, while peaches will get underway around the 4th of July.

Most New Jersey produce items are either starting on time, or a week or so early.

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Eastern Produce Shipping Update

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In Florida while some vegetable shipments, such as peppers are on the decline, items such as potatoes, watermelons and tomatoes are providing better loading opportunities. 

Florida is shipping about 500 truckloads of potatoes weekly and product is now coming out of the Hastings/Palatka area…..Watermelons are moving in much heavier volume, over 2,200 truckloads a week, from southern and central Florida.  There also is good volume with tomatoes from the southern and central parts of the state.

 If you are in Florida and need to fill out the truck, southern Georgia continues to ship greens, squash and other vegetables….Vidalia onions are now moving in good volume….In the Ft. Valley area, peach shipments have started…..Peaches in South Carolina are only a few days behind Georgia and both states  should provide good loading opportunities – especially through the month of June.

South Carolina also has light to moderate volume with greens, sweet onions, cabbage, parsley and cilantro.  Coming in June will be  shipments of corn, tomatoes and peppers.

Looking ahead, North Carolina loading opportunities for watermelons and cantaloupe will be coming the last half of June.

Southern New Jersey continues to ship light amounts of lettuce and asparagus.  These items will be winding down with the month of May, but will be replaced in June with vegetables ranging from bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, as well as blueberries and peaches.

Central Florida tomatoes, watermelons – grossing about $4100 to New York City.

Georgia vegetables – about $2700 to Philadlephia.

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